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Posted on April 4th, 2013 by Barry Collins

How to move from iPhone to Android

HTC One top

For the past three years – since the launch of the iPhone 3GS – I’ve been firmly in the iOS camp. For the past week, however, I’ve been testing the HTC One (you can read my verdict on the device in our HTC One review).

Making the move from iOS to Android was a damned-sight less painful than I anticipated. Within a matter of minutes, I had all of my contacts, music and other data transferred or accessible from the HTC One.

If you’re thinking about making the move from iPhone to Android, here’s how to make the transition as easy as possible.


HTC One Contacts

I thought shifting contacts from one OS to the other was going to be tedious, but it turns out HTC was one step ahead of me. The HTC One comes with a proprietary transfer wizard that connects to your old phone via Bluetooth and (theoretically, at least) sucks up all your contacts, photos and other data. All too predictably with Bluetooth, the phones didn’t really rub along, and the only data it would accept from my iPhone was the contacts – which were imported perfectly. The HTC also has an effective deduplication tool, which merged contacts appearing in both my iPhone and Google address books.

There are alternative methods of transferring contacts from iPhone to Android. iTunes allows you to synchronise your iPhone contacts data with a Google account (which you’ll need for the Android phone, anyway), although this means you’ll need to synchronise your iPhone with your PC/Mac first. Once you’ve connected the iPhone via USB, click on your iPhone’s name in the left-hand panel and then click on the Info tab. Check “Sync Address Book Contacts” and select “All contacts” and then select “Sync Google Contacts”. Pop in your Google login and password and your contacts should then synchronise, ready for downloading to your Android phone when you enter your Google account credentials.

Apple also details a method of synchronising contacts directly from iOS, using CardDav syncing, although I haven’t tried that myself.


My iPhone contained about 10GB of music that had either been ripped from CDs in iTunes or bought directly from the iTunes/Amazon MP3 stores. Initially, I was intent on transferring all these files to the HTC One, but soon decided it wasn’t worth the hassle, for two reasons.

A few months ago I had backed up my entire iTunes collection to Google Music. That meant I could stream all my ripped and purchased albums using the Music app that comes pre-installed on the HTC One and other Android phones. The other reason I decided not to bother was my Spotify subscription, which gives me access to pretty much any album under the sun. I actually prefer the layout of the Android Spotify app to the iOS version, too.

Obviously, I sacrifice the convenience of having a locally stored music collection when I’m stuck on the Tube or a nine-hour flight across the Atlantic, but Google Music and Spotify allow you to download a selection of albums/playlists to your device, so with a little forward planning that can be mitigated against.


The HTC One transfer wizard failed to suck up my iPhone photos because of the Bluetooth language barrier, but there are several other effortless ways to move a photo collection from one device to another.

The HTC One comes pre-equipped with a Dropbox app, and since that was already installed on my iPhone, I simply created a folder for all the iPhone photos I wanted to keep and uploaded them to the cloud. It would be equally painless to do likewise with Google Drive or SkyDrive.

Bookmarks and other settings

Google Chrome has been my browser of choice on both desktop and mobile for some time, largely because of the way it seamlessly synchronises bookmarks, saved passwords and other settings across devices. The Chrome browser that came pre-installed on the HTC One had already latched onto my Google account, so everything was transferred without me having to lift a finger.

If your iPhone bookmarks are trapped in Safari, you can sync them via iTunes to a desktop version of Safari and export them to Chrome from there.


In short, shifting from iPhone to Android was an entirely stress-free operation. Within 20 minutes, I had transferred everything I wanted from my iPhone 4S onto the HTC One, and could begin on the process of downloading apps.

I’ve said before on the PC Pro Podcast that one of the factors holding me back from moving to Android was the investment I’d already made in iOS apps, but after I’d shifted across there was only one app that I really missed: TomTom satnav. TomTom does have an Android app, but having already paid £30 for the app itself, and another £25 for the annual traffic subscription, the thought of paying for both again did stick in the craw.

Yet, even after factoring in the cost of repurchasing TomTom (Google Navigation is not up to snuff, in my opinion), I’m still going to jump ship. Now for some hard negotiations with my phone network…

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23 Responses to “ How to move from iPhone to Android ”

  1. HigherIQ Says:
    April 4th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    It’s good to see someone speak out on making the switch to Android over iOS. I’m not a fan of apple, but I think their phones work well for many users – - but not the best as they want people to believe.
    I will switch back to their phone “IF” they ever produce the best one. (reminds me of my intel to AMD back to intel cpu usage — don’t get stuck to just one hardware/software manufacturer)

  2. barrada Says:
    April 4th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Good article – with so many disgruntled people now moving from the iphone this will be really useful.

  3. tech3475 Says:
    April 4th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I regards to music, there are apps which allow you to sync itunes music and Android, I personally use isyncr which optionally allows wifi sync, although unfortunately it is a paid app although there may be other apps.

  4. David Artiss Says:
    April 4th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    With regard to Google Music, having your music here does not sacrifice having it on your device. Any track or album can be “pinned” which means it’s downloaded to your phone for offline use.

  5. W Watson Says:
    April 4th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I helped my daughter move from iphone to a Samsung Galaxy mini last night (nice, light!). It was surprisingly quick and painless, and she is thrilled with her new phone – a big improvement as far as she is concerned. Ironically,she has abandoned her Acer laptop for a Mac, and that process is more of a slog.

  6. Mikhael Says:
    April 5th, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Good article. However I have several hundred apps and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve spent £200-£300 on apps. Therefore the pain of moving across would be too great. Not for me right now unless Apple really botch future handsets / iOS.

  7. Steven Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Great article. For messages transfer, I recommend a program called Backuptrans iPhone SMS + MMS to Android Transfer(Paid one). Worked fine to move messages to my Galaxy Note II.

  8. David Wright Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    And how do you transfer the contacts, when the iPhone user has neither an iCloud nor Google account?

  9. Notsofastmatey Says:
    April 9th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    @David Wright They will have to create a Google account to set up Android.

  10. Roger Says:
    April 9th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Transferring iPhone data to my new Galaxy was a pain. Except for contacts which I moved in the following way:

    I still cannot find a way to transfer my iphone text messages to my android. If anyone can help, would be awesome.

  11. MarkNoru Says:
    April 11th, 2013 at 3:28 am

    @Roger To transfer text messages, please refer to

    Best luck!

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    April 22nd, 2013 at 7:16 pm

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    April 22nd, 2013 at 9:15 pm

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    April 24th, 2013 at 10:29 pm

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  15. Shah America Says:
    May 31st, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Thanks! I just got the HTC ONE today. This was quite helpful.

  16. Nick Says:
    June 22nd, 2013 at 10:46 am

    This program did the job for me:

    Easy to use and effective! It can transfer almost everything. You can also use it to copy your iPhone text messages to your Android.

  17. Winfred Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Here’s also a tutorial on “how to transfer music from iPhone to HTC One without iTunes”.

  18. David H Evans Says:
    August 24th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    While this might not be the best method, I have found it best served what I needed when transferring my iphone contacts to my Android HTC:

    First, I don’t have a Gmail account, and even if I had, I would not wish to mix my email addresses with my iphone address book by syncing Gmail with my iphone address book. As a result, I used the above method in order to manually export my iphone contacts to my computer and in turn import them to my new HTC phone.

  19. Sam Says:
    November 10th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    If you have an iPhone and plan to get an Android phone, chances are that you want to keep those old iPhone Data on your Android phone as well. The following tutorial will show you how to transfer Data including Music, Video, Photo, Playlist, Message (SMS & MMS), Contact, Calendar, Call history, Bookmark etc from iPhone to Android Phone directly on computer. All these data will be merged perfectly on your Android Phone.

    Hope this can help.

  20. marciaeleanor Says:
    January 22nd, 2014 at 1:58 am

    I recommend a tool named iPhone to Android Transfer, it can help move contacts, messages, pictures, apps and so on from iPhone to Android Phone:

  21. Android Guru Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    This was the situation when Android was on a rise but now people tend to use both iPhone and Android phones. So, No moving just syncing.

  22. kristylebru Says:
    August 20th, 2014 at 8:37 am

    maybe iCloud and Gmail are good tools for you to make the switching.

  23. mobiledic Says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    There are two basic ways to transfer your data from one device to another. You can use cloud services to store your files in a location that is accessible to all your devices or you can pull your data off your old phone and manually transfer it to your new one.


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